What You Can Learn Negative People
Fairlady|May 2017

Want to achieve more and be happier? Psychologist Jennifer Garth explains how a pessimistic outlook can actually help you on your way.

Jennifer Garth

Being negative can be a positive. Studies suggest a negative outlook could help you live longer. In fact, being pessimistic about the future can mean you take fewer risks, are more vigilant about your health and take greater safety precautions than optimists. Here’s what negative people can teach you to achieve a brighter future.

ANXIETY MANAGEMENT 

Negative people expect worst-case scenarios. They typically ruminate on imagined situations like, ‘This presentation is going to end in disaster. I’ll be out of a job!’ Yet quite often, in spite of their doom and gloom, they are a huge hit. So how do they do it? ‘When you expect the worst you diffuse the emotional power it has over you. You say to yourself, “It can only go up from here,”’ says Professor Julie Norem, author of The Positive Power of Negative Thinking.

Your negativity acts as a cognitive cushion, reminding you, ‘What have I got to lose?’ When your anxiety is under control you can pull up your sleeves and get on with giving the job your best shot. You’re now in the moment: planning, troubleshooting, focusing on the details and giving the project your all.

PLAN B 

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